Lisa Shimmel is deputy director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center and a senior policy analyst at the American Institutes for Research. As deputy director of Midwest Comprehensive Center, she focuses on managing technical assistance to the state education agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Shimmel also leads technical assistance projects designed to support state education agency staff in three Midwest region states. She leads the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest communication and engagement activities, which include the development of the REL Midwest website, social media accounts, interactive mapping applications, events, blogs, videos, data visualization, and other collateral. Shimmel's REL Midwest responsibilities also include technical assistance, outreach, and research as a senior policy analyst. She examines and tracks trends in current education-related legislation and policy issues.
Prior to joining AIR, Shimmel worked for Los Angeles Universal Preschool, where she gained experience in preschool supply and demand and program quality. In each of these roles, Shimmel has provided support to policymakers and other education stakeholders regarding the use of evidence-based practices and the need for research to supply policy change. In addition, she has two years of teaching experience at the high school level and volunteered for a year with AmeriCorps VISTA as a community outreach coordinator for "I Have a Dream" in East Palo Alto, California.